Yerba Mate known as “Tea of the Gods”

A wonderful start to the year, packed with changes and new beginnings for many people I know, myself included. Many new seeds have been planted and this year marks the ploughing and labouring of all those sowed seeds to grow into blossoming new creations and visions.

This is year I will be bringing you a feature on a particular tea each month, and the aim, to also eventually increase the range of teas and blends. It’s hoped that the knowledge into the properties and benefits of different teas will help you continue to make your art of drinking tea, the noble herb, a part of your health and wellness pleasures.

This month the first tea on the rank is the amazing Yerba Mate “Tea of the Gods”. Yerba mate is a tea that has been known to offer the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate“. An amazing all-rounder magical tea from South America packed with vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and amino acids, it contains less caffeine than coffee so doesn’t cause the jittery highs, but as a gentle stimulant in the fulfilment as an immuno stimulant and digestion tonic.

Packed with the usual antioxidants, it’s also been known to help with weight loss and depression or fatigue. However any therapeutic claims or effects of teas are only complementary to an already healthy lifestyle.

At Tuwawi Tea we’ve blended Yerba Mate into the Fortitude and Restoration Blend for added synergistic power. Fortitude Blend is excellent for times when you need to focus, to hold it together and expend all your energies into getting the deadline met, projects accomplished and exams pushed through. Restoration Blend is a popular favourite among tea lovers, as it restores and replenishes life’s normal wear and tear. Even more with added stresses of life’s curve balls.

Fortitude‘s blend of organic Black Mentha with Yerba Mate centres the breath as the anchor that holds through the storm, while the African Red Rooibos rich in polyphenols provide the therapeutic strength for the immune system to stay empowered through testing times.

Restoration‘s blend of organic Chai with all its warm and fiery spices, along with African Red Rooibos’ immune strengthening properties replenishes and refills the body, mind and spirit that’s drained and running on empty. Which is often us more than not.

Traditionally in native South America Yerba Mate is drunk through brewing it in a gourd, then mixed properly and carefully and drunk through a native straw called a bombilla. It’s benefits have been expounded and handed down since ancient times. Now in modern days, it’s widely enjoyed in the United States and many countries in the Middle East.

Drinking Yerba Mate just by itself in its pure tea form may be an acquired taste for some, but in a synergistic blend, its flavours and therapeutic properties are further tripled  and quadrupled in effects.

So if you haven’t explored this tea either by itself, or in a delicious blend, now is the time to introduce it to your tastebuds and enjoy its exhilarating effects.

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Disclaimer: Tuwawi Tea does not claim or guarantee curative effects of tea blends. Teas are powerful herbs but only a complement to your health as part of your overall healthy lifestyle.

 

Ever tried Pottery?

A reconstructed post from an oldie 26/05/2016:

I’ve always loved working with my bare hands, anything from gardening with earth through my fingers to hand painting with acrylics. This probably played a huge part in flowing me into working as a deep tissue remedial therapist for the last 15 years, as I love manipulating muscles and soft tissues under my hands to release tension and relieve pains.

potterywheelThis year I started exploring into something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time, Pottery. If you have done pottery or are an experienced potter yourself, you’ll know that it’s a skill and art that can take years to master… and perhaps a lifelong journey.

So without any expectations nor demands, I set out simply to enjoy myself and have fun, like all other things in life! I experienced challenges from frustrations when the blob of clay flew off the wheel on the first day, to the joys when a teacup was moulded out of the mound of soft clay. As any potter will tell you, the key is in centering the clay on the wheel, just like life, the quiescence that pervades regardless of how fast the wheel turns and whatever shape takes form.

So here I’ll like to share all the photos of my pottery which have aptly come to be called Crooked Creations partly because to date, my skill in getting the pottery piece symmetrical is still a challenging event! and partly because I actually do delight in creating non symmetrical, slightly or hugely imperfect pieces as it reflects the nature of us, the perfectly imperfect nature of our humanness.

I endeavour to give some of these pottery pieces away either as gifts to friends and family, or as giveaways here at Tuwawi, to you beautiful passionate tea drinkers. Each piece is an individual piece made with love as much as my pottery skills are not at professional level by any means. Who knows? while being a practical piece for now it may and could become a priceless possession when I become super skilled and well-known one day!

When working with pottery I usually get so engrossed I rarely stop for a drink or rest until a lump of clay is off the wheel or finished in its moulding. Then when I’ve sort of finished one or two pieces I love sitting back and sipping on a freshly made cup of Restoration Blend or Elation Blend before I feel energised again for another round.

What better than to brew and then drink your favourite blend of Tuwawi Tea out of your own handmade teapot and cups!!

Pottery

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Kombucha Making

This is the last blogpost on using teas in healthy recipes for now (in the Wholesome Foods series for these last few months) and here I’d like to share the recipe on Kombucha Making.

You may or may not know of Kombucha, or perhaps are already long into the awesome art of brewing this home made fermented tea. If you’re new to it or have been hearing about it and can’t wait to get started, here’s some information and the recipe:

Kombucha is an ancient Chinese tonic and health elixir, a fermented tea that you can easily brew yourself at home. You’ll need to get yourself a starter culture called a Scoby (Symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). You may be able to purchase a Scoby from some health food stores, adopt it from a friend, or google search for local kombucha makers. My yoga studio often have notices on the board with fellow kombucha brewers offering free scobys. Most kombucha makers are happy to give away scobys for free as each batch of kombucha produces a baby scoby, and before you know it, they just multiply with more than you need!

Apart from tasting great, they’re fun to brew and super wholesome and healthy. Ever since my sobriety for nearly seven years now, I routinely enjoy my beautiful cups of kombucha teas as my evening relaxing pre-dinner drinks.

Kombucha is a probiotic tea that’s long been used and known for strengthening your immune system, maintaining and healing your digestive system, restoring life energy and tastes awesome!

Method:

1. Brew 2 litres of organic black tea (Tuwawi’s Old English Breakfast or any other blends. I personally love using Restoration Blend for its further immune strengthening and restorative properties) with filtered/natural spring water in teapots. 

2. Add ½ cup of raw organic sugar (or rice malt if you’re intolerant to sugar), stirring gently. Leave to cool to room temperature. Then pour into big storage jar/bottle.

3. Pop in the Scoby and cover the top with a muslin/cheese cloth and tie. Sit it in a cool dark part of the kitchen or in your pantry for 7-10 days to ferment.

4. After 7-10 days pour the tea out of the container into bottles, keep the mother Scoby and share away the baby Scoby if you wish. Or keep them both with a bit of residual tea, for making your next double batch. Or you may keep scobys in container and serve straight from there. When the tea gets low, make a new batch of tea and add straight into the brewing container to top up.

 5. If the brew tastes too strong, you may dilute it 50% with filtered water, ice blocks, soda water or pure fruit juice. You may also add slices of fruits or lemon or lime. However it will affect the original flavour of the tea. Kombucha tea has to be served cold, cool or at room temperature. Do not heat it up or you will destroy all the valuable probiotics.

Kombucha Making

IMPORTANT:

Do not use metal utensils in any part of the kombucha making processes. Use a wooden spoon to stir, ceramic or glass teapots and glass containers etc.

If the Scoby gets mouldy (quite rare but does happen) discard the whole batch. Mould appears hairy and on the top surfaces of the Scoby. 

Not to be mistaken with some brown discolouration on the Scoby or stringy bits in the tea or Scoby. They’re not mould but the probiotic bacteria, the good stuff!

Kombucha making is complemented with added flavours, zest and restorative properties when brewed with Tuwawi Teablends. Any blend with a black tea base is suited i.e. Restoration Blend, Elation Blend, Passion Blend, Sentimental Blend, Fortitude Blend or just plain good ol Old English Breakfast. Browse each blend page and choose the flavours you like and properties that match your needs. My personal favourite is Restoration Blend for replenishing and strengthening.

Click here to watch the short video of the making

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Thank you for following my series of Wholesome Foods and Teas over the last months. Next blog series coming up in a couple of weeks I’d like to take you on a personal journey with me into a major life transformation of alternative and simple living, minimalization and adventures. My life is stepping into unbelievable unknowns with both mixed trepidation and excitement, and if you’ll like to share the journey with me, stay tuned!

Meanwhile put the kettle on, and have a cup of tea!

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Raw Cacao Vegan Cheesecake

This is Week 3’s recipe for the 7-Week Wholesome Foods and Teas series, after some technical glitch wiped out my last three food blogs from my website and backup files! After this redo, I reckon I’m definitely sitting down to a fresh pot of Sentimental Blend with its beautiful Chamomile blossoms and African Honeybush in a base of Organic Assam Thunder.

One of my favourite raw desserts, Raw Cacao Vegan Cheesecake is a non dairy, non gluten, no sugar, no baking absolutely easy to make treat that will tantalise your tastebuds and is packed full of energy. Beats any commercial protein bars! I often have slices in the fridge and on a full day with clients’ appointments back-to-back and insufficient time to stop for a decent lunch break, a slice or two of these keep me on my toes packed with sustained energies. It’s light on your waistline and is guaranteed to impress the dinner guests. My son and his girlfriend who are not vegetarians nor vegans were unsure at first when I was going to serve out a “vegan cheesecake” for dessert but after their first mouthfuls, both nodded and went “Mmmmm… ”

It’s called a cheesecake because of it’s creamy texture but of course, because it’s vegan, cashews are used instead of cheese. Hence packed full of raw plant proteins. No cooking with heat also retains all its nutrients and life energy.

rawcheesecakeblog2Raw cacao, if you’re not familiar, is basically the purest 100% chocolate. Unlike commercial chocolate or cocoa it isn’t processed or added with sugar. Raw cacao powder (which is what we use in this recipe) is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. It’s classified as a super food with one of the highest ratings of antioxidants and magnesium.

 

Raw Cacao Vegan Cheesecake

Ingredients

Filling Ingredients

3 x cups pre soaked raw cashews (overnight)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tspn vanilla essence
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup cacao nibs
12 pieces of cacao butter or 1 tbpn

Base Ingredients

1 x cup walnuts
1 x cup cashews
1 x cup pre soaked dates (soak for 30 mins)
1 tspn vanilla essence
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions

Filling

Place pre soaked cashews into a food processor with coconut oil, cacao butter, vanilla essence, half the amount of cacao nibs and raw honey. Blend until a creamy texture, then stir in the rest of the cacao nibs.
Spoon out the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate while you make the base.

Base

Place pre soaked pitted dates, walnuts, cashews, vanilla essence and shredded coconut into the food processor and blend well into a rough texture.
Grease a pie plate or pan and press the base mixture into it, pressing down tight and firm.
Dish filling mixture on top of the base and spread it out evenly. Put into freezer.
When it’s set, decorate the cake with fresh cut fruits.
Cut and serve with dollops of cream, yoghurt or coconut cream (vegan) or if cake was made in a square pan, cut into square slices.

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This dessert goes beautifully with a fresh brew of Sentimental Blend for relaxing at the end of a meal or Restoration Blend for further immune strengthening and a boost to your energies.

Click here or on the image below and watch the youtube video and whip it up yourself. Then let me know in the comments box below how you went, and if you enjoyed eating it. Would love to hear your thoughts and tips too.

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Vegetarian Baby Quiche

This is a redo of the first of the three wholesome foods and tea recipes that I’ve blogged in February-March recently. My website had changed it’s server to a new one this week, and after the event, I found three of my latest blogposts mysteriously disappeared! They were not even in my backup files whhhaaat??!! There’s technology for you! ha

This first recipe and cook-with-me is a healthy, quick and wholesome whip-up of baby quiches, ideal for breakfast with a fresh pot of Fortitude Blend to begin your day. Fortitude Blend will kickstart your energies and boost your immune system to take you through anything that comes your way and the quiches are packed with proteins and vegetables. Also brilliant as a light lunch with a serve of your favourite salads or slipped into your kids’ or hubby’s lunchboxes!

Vegetarian Baby Quiches is Week 1 of a 7-Week Wholesome Foods and Tea series. The key to all recipes in this series is simplicity, quick yet delicious and packed with nutrition. We all lead busy lives these days whether we’re young professionals fulfilling demanding jobs, young mums running around after the littlies all day or middle to elderly aged we have other creative activities to pursue. Instead of spending half a day in the kitchen, why compromise the goodness for our living bodies by grabbing takeaways (or take outs as you may say in your country) cooked with high laden processed and trans fats and low grade ingredients? So much wiser to chop up freshest organic vegetables and throw them all together in less than 10 minutes and voila, have a quick yet scrumptious home cooked meal or snack, to sit and relax into or grab on the run.

Vegetarian Baby Quiche (can add meats if you’re a meat eater)

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Ingredients

Assorted vegetables of Mizuno, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms
(You can used any variety of vegetables that you like e.g. baby spinach, red onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.)

6 x large free range eggs

200ml carton of fresh cream

100g of crumbled Feta cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

  • all ingredients preferably organic

Directions

Preheat oven to 200’C and lightly oil patty pans with coconut oil. Chop all vegetables up to tiny pieces and distribute them into the patty pans. Crumble in feta cheese. In a mixing bowl, break the 6 eggs and beat them up. Add 100ml of cream, then check consistency. If too thick add another 100ml. Add salt and pepper, stir and scoop them into the patty pans to cover the vegetables.

Pop them into the oven and check after 20 minutes by touching the top of quiche. If springy but firm it’s cooked. Turn the oven off and bring them out to cool. When cooled gently remove them from the pans onto serving plates. Quiche goes yummy dipped in a blue cheese aioli or french mustard sauce, or simply plain as itself with some vegetable garnishings like sprouts and herbs.

A hot brew of Fortitude Blend will complement the flavours and nutrition of this dish. Or if the weather and season is hot and summery, serve beautifully with cold glasses of iced teas of the blend.
Remember for iced teas, brews can be made earlier or the day before and kept in the fridge to cool. Also make sure when brewing for iced teas, use more leaves to make a stronger brew, as they will be diluted with melting ice blocks.

Click here or on the video image below and view me making the quiches, then try them yourself and let me know how you go! Also if you have any queries, suggestions, tips and ideas, jot them into the comments box below. If you love wholesome foods and teas and haven’t yet join our community of passionate tea lovers, pop your name and email in the box below and get your freebie and welcoming discount to try some teas, also to keep enjoying everything I share about aliveness and teas.

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The many ways to have your Tea

You know all about the most common and popular way of having your tea… a fresh hot brew in a teapot served into beautiful teacups. There’s such pleasure in finding and using your favourite and beautiful teawares. They add to the appreciation of life’s aesthetics and also subtly affects the flavour of your tea. Clay teawares for example have been known to be left unglazed and are favoured by tea connoisseurs as the clay absorbs the essence of the tea. A particular teapot is specially assigned for a particular tea so that flavours are exemplified and pure.

Of course, these days the various quaint and modern styled glass and porcelain teawares are popular favourites. Apart from the vessels to have your teas in, what are the many ways to have your tea ?

  1. As a hot brew on hot or cold days or nights
  2. As refreshing iced teas in warm and hot summers
  3. As a base for smoothies
  4. As another ingredient in alcoholic cocktails
  5. As an added ingredient in your favourite food recipes.

For No.1 you may check out my page on The Art of Drinking Tea or the video I made for you on How to brew a perfect pot of Tea click here or on pic below

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As for Points No.4 and 5 I will leave them for another blog post. In this post I’d like to share about iced teas and using tea brews as the base for smoothies.

Typically with both these two I tend to make a big pot or brew and bottle them then keep them chilled in the fridge. It makes for the serving easy whenever needed. Of course keep them fresh by using them within a day or two.

If you live in the southern hemisphere, like I do in Australia, then you’ll know how with summery days easing into these coming months, a cold icy tea or smoothie isn’t just refreshing but also replenishing and revitalising. So if you’ve got a couple of bottles chilled and ready in the fridge, all you have to do is pour them into a nice tall glass with some ice blocks. I love dropping in a slice of fresh lemon or lime or both too, to add to the fresh flavour. As well you may freeze certain fruits in advance like strawberries, grapes, berries or melons (cut into small squares) then drop the frozen fruits into the tea as well. They serve as fruity ice blocks plus also add a subtle fruity flavour to your tea. They also look awesome!

fruits

Always note with iced teas, make the brew of tea double in strength by doubling the amount of leaves, as you will be diluting it when ice blocks are added. Make a couple of big jugs of iced teas to add onto the entertaining table as a healthy and fresh alternative to an alcoholic punch, for guests who prefer non-alcoholic beverage or who are driving. Tuwawi’s fruity blends of Relaxing Tropo and Luscious Berries are completely caffeine free, ideal and yummy for the kids, what’s more, they would just love having colourful frozen fruits floating about in their glass!

As a base for smoothies you may use them according to the properties of the teas, as needed. Or you may use them to add flavour and goodness as well. For example, one night this week when my daughter returned home very stressed from a full-on day, I whipped up a banana and mango smoothie in a base of chilled Sentimental blend, for its calming and soothing properties for the nervous system. We enjoyed the smoothie (which is only light as it isn’t a heavy milky base) as I cooked dinner, she started to relax and breathe deeper.

Banana-mango Smoothie in Sentimental Blend tea base

Banana-mango Smoothie in Sentimental Blend tea base

So if you haven’t tried any of these, it’s time to whip some up! Guaranteed to thrill the kids, and maybe the husband and partner too. To check out some other Smoothies click here.

If you’ve been following Tuwawi Tea’s Facebook posts, you’ll be fully aware of the current Giveaway competition run in collaboration with Becomingness. Check out Vanessa Vickery’s awesome review and write-up on Tuwawi Teas, also all the wholesome recipes on her website, which Tuwawi Tea complements beautifully as well. A reminder, don’t miss out if you wish to enter, closing date is in a couple of days, the 12th Dec. Click here to the post and scroll to bottom of the review post for details for entering, to win a gourmet gift pack (open to Australian residents only)

I’ll get another blog post out to you before the year ends, meanwhile if you’re still in need of beautiful teas for yourself or as a gift, get your orders in, there’s still time for Australia Post to get them to you before Christmas, if you’re in Australia.

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Keys to Health and Longevity

You know the usual spiel for the keys to health and longevity down to a pat. Yes yes yes you may say… eat wholesome foods, plenty of exercise, sufficient sleep, lots of sunshine and fresh air. Sounds absolutely wonderful in theory, so how many of us actually live it? How realistic is it to be all of those all the time?

Even if we religiously practice all those obvious idealistic way of living, what guarantee is there that we will never ever get ill? Do we want to live a long life, really? Well yes of course, you may say, as long as I’m healthy, I’d love to live a long life!

Health is one of the greatest assets in our relatively short span of human life. All the money and material wealth in the world simply can’t buy good health. We all know this, we know how amazing we feel when we’re healthy and full of life as compared to how we feel when we’re run down or ill stricken.

Having worked with clients as part of their health and wellness programs, plus in my own past journey of self-healing from depression, alcohol dependency, digestive inflammation and chronic fatigue (as much as I’m one not in favour of labels at all) I’ve come to learn that the keys to health and wellness is not as simple as a,b,c… yet… is purely and simply as simple as that. If you’ve had your fair share of health challenges in your life journey, you may second that.

There is no particular magical formula, cure nor answer. Genetically you may have acquired certain predispositions to better or worse health, but this isn’t your ultimate fate. The growing sciences of epigenetics has and is already proving that your can alter or reverse your blueprints by altering your environment i.e. through your lifestyle and mindset.

These days the latest research and health information are widely accessible through the internet and natural health is a booming and growing industry. If you actively take responsibility for your own health, you have every opportunity to maintain, heal and reverse many imbalances with more herbs, potions and methods than ever before. There are tonne loads of information, suggestions and proponents of all sorts of “proven effective” herbs, lotions, potions, diets and methods.

While this is absolutely amazing, it can also be downright confusing, expensive and mind boggling. I’ve seen how some clients, friends and family spend loads of money running around from one natural therapist to another, ingesting dozens of supplements and paying for various eating plans and diets. One particular client of such had spent years trying to heal her digestive system, and while she did improve, she was still suffering inflammation quite regularly, even after having cut out nearly half of all types of fresh foods. Then incidentally, when she changed job recently and would you believe… voila! Her digestion healed overnight, and she added that it was then that she realised how very stressed her life used to be.

Stress is profound. While you need it for achieving and accomplishing tasks, it’s also a hard-wired fight or flight mechanism in your body and brain for survival and evolution of our species. However, chronic stress wears your body down hence prematurely ageing it, suppresses your immune system hence increases your susceptibility to all kinds of illnesses. You’re drained and depleted of energy and eventually may even lead to serious or life threatening conditions.

Stress as you may know consists of mental, emotional or physical, or all of the above. While the solution is simple, nevertheless you are a complex being. Physical exhaustion is just as much a stressful impact on your body as suppressed and unprocessed emotions. When you relax, accept and embrace in the moment, it allows your whole system to unwind into its parasympathetic mode i.e. giving it the space to return to homeostasis or balance.

So here’s my take on the keys to health and wellness, and of course longevity (if you’re into that as well) it’s the encompassing of all that we already know in the context of:

  • Being in tuned with yourself ~ when you’re in tuned you’ll know what wellness and healthiness feels like, likewise you’ll also know what unwellness feels like which leads to…
  • Listening to your body and intuition ~ your body is an intelligent living machine. When you get a cut or a wound it heals itself. Everyday various intricate intercellular and systemic processes happen on its own within your body, to keep the whole machine running. Your intuition is the innate wisdom you’ve naturally acquired over the course of  your mental, emotional and genetic evolution. It pays to stop and listen to it. It is your very own internal guiding system, the way your body communicates with you. The world might rave on about the most expensive pill, herb or diet program but that may or may not be what is right for your body at all. Knowing, sensing and listening… you will then make choices that are right for your self.
  • When you’re fully the two points mentioned above… it becomes fairly simple really. Also most enjoyable and thrilling too, because it may not necessarily mean spending a fortune on fancy programs and treatments, abstaining from pleasures in life like various foods and drinks, or practising any kind of elaborate and exotic rituals. It’s all a matter of balance, and your mind and body’s own intelligence will guide you in the adjustment and rebalancing whenever the “boat goes off-keel”.

Simple yes, yet seemingly so impossible to be. Life, lifestyle, pace of life… all seem to render us to becoming out-of-tuned. We simply can’t hear, let alone take heed of the signals and messages from our internal alarm system. We know all about “stop, slow down, take time out, chill… make the time, take responsibility for your own health” yet how do we? The irony is that when you’re so caught up in the vicious stress cycles, you’re not even aware that you are!

Instead of waiting for the inevitable to happen, which is final collapse, breakdown or worse…

A cup of tea is the best excuse and breather to interrupt the pattern. It helps you to simply do all that… slow down, chill, take time out and stop…

In that space of stillness and silence you are back in tuned with your self and your body. You can hear and take heed. What’s more a cup of tea also tastes so good!

Please feel free to share your thoughts on health and wellness in the comments box below. Would love to hear your voice, tips and more suggestions on keys to health and longevity for a conscious life filled with vibrancy and aliveness.

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On the point of relaxation, along with a cup of tea, nature is also healing and health inducing. Immersing in the elements of nature like water, fresh air, sunshine, rain, wind and breeze through all our senses naturally activates the production of seratonins and dopamines (happy hormones) but is also the quieter time-out. Below are the links to a few videos I’ve put together from my woodwalks in the UK if, weather unpermitting, you might like to enjoy a bit of nature through my nature videos, made specially for you for while you sip on your tea!

Click here or click on the image below to view the video

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Click on images below for more Nature walks or watch Tuwawi’s Nature Wonders playlist on youtube

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